Experts claim credit crunch should be used to boost employee engagement

Employee engagement experts have called on organisations to use the current economic climate to their benefit when trying to increase the work commitment of their staff.

Katie Roberts, engagement development manager at health and beauty retail giant Boots, said: “It’s crucial to engage with employees, particularly in difficult times.

“The crunch can be used to demonstrate how serious you are about your employees,” Roberts told Personnel Today. “Take the time to listen, and people in your organisation will get the message that you are genuinely interested in them.”

The credit crunch has seen falling house prices for the first time in a decade, while consumer spending has also taken a hit as lending has dried up. Thousands of City jobs are expected to be axed this year as banks feel the effect of a recession.

But speaking at the Employee Engagement Summit in the City, Roberts said that employer engagement should remain a constant in HR’s communications process.

“Continue to hire talented people, and engage with them to help drive business performance which in turn impacts on sales and profit.”

Dr David Pendleton, senior consultant at HR consultancy Edgecumbe, told delegates: “There is no better time to show your employees how serious you are than during difficult times. How you act under this climate is how you will be judged by your employees.”

Nick Tatchell, senior project director at professional services firm Towers Perrin-ISR, added: “A bigger effort by managers to engage with staff under tougher times will create a sense of pride for employees.”

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